Even a small group can make a big difference helping meet community needs.

The members of the "Pages Book Club" of Richmond have again celebrated the holidays by holding their third annual food drive to benefit the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program.

Members Saundra Alexander, Linda Daigre, Carolyn Dickens, Mary Spearman and Dorothy Stewart collected more than 500 items, primarily canned goods, for the GRIP Souper Center that feeds the needy each day.

GRIP -- a coalition of 45 congregations of all faiths in West County as well as Berkeley, Albany and as far away as San Ramon -- operates an emergency shelter for families along with its soup kitchen. It serves 90,000 meals annually and can still use donations and support.

For details, visit www.gripcommunity.org or call 510-233-2141.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The Contra Costa Chorale, a fixture in West County for 46 years, invites new singers to join the community chorus as it prepares to rehearse its spring program Mozart Requiem.

Rehearsals, which start Jan. 14, are from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays at Hillside Community Church, 1422 Navellier St. in El Cerrito.

For more details, call 510-255-0703, visit ccchorale.org, or send an email to ccchorale@att.net.

  • Here's an update on La Perla Mexican Deli: the 63-year Richmond institution will remain open into the new year. The Ponce family, which owns the business and the building at Fourth Street and Nevin Avenue it calls home, had originally planned to close at the end of the year.

    "We've got the building up for sale, and we'll see what happens," said Dolores Bonds, one of the siblings who have carried on the business founded by their parents. "Until it sells, we're going to stay open as long as we can and keep going strong."

  • Another change on the scene is the closure of the DeWitt Gallery and Framing, home of the Point Richmond Art Collective, which is holding a final clearance sale this weekend before closing for good. Owner Pamela DeWitt Delaney said she will move on to other projects after a 12-year run at the storefront at 121 Park Place in Point Richmond.

    Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

  • The annual coat drive by the George Miller Centers in Richmond and Concord brought in more than 200 warm garments that were delivered this week to the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond.

  • A short documentary on bluesman Jimmy McCracklin of Richmond, who died Dec. 20 at age 91, is on YouTube at http://bit.ly/Th2VC5. "Jimmy Sings the Blues" was put together by the Regional Oral History Office at UC Berkeley.

  • The Richmond Annex Senior Center is closed through Jan. 11 for the holidays and remodeling work, the city has announced. Limited programming will be available the week of Jan. 14, and in the interim some programs may be relocated to other facilities. Details: 510-620-6812.

  • You don't need a shopping budget to give the special gift of a blood donation, and the American Red Cross and local organizations have several drives coming up in West County.

    A blood drive will be from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Red Cross bus in the parking lot at the Starbucks Coffee shop at 1540 Fitzgerald Drive in Pinole.

    The Elks Lodge at 3931 San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante is hosting a drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Jan. 4.

    The Red Cross bus will be at Castrol Premium Lube Express, 3220 San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 5.

    Valley Bible Church at 1477 Willow Ave. in Hercules is holding a drive from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 14.

    To make an appointment for any of the blood drives, call 800-733-2767. Appointments can also be made online at redcrossblood.org. Enter sponsor code STARBUCKSPIN for the Pinole drive, ELSOBRANTE for the Elks Lodge Drive, CASTROLES for the Castrol drive, or VBC for the Hercules drive.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.